ESL Sites and Services
The English as a Second Language (ESL) program of Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) serves culturally and linguistically diverse Pre-K through 12th grade students whose native language is not English. The objective of the program is to provide students with academic English support and skills they need to meet the standards set by the Virginia Department of Education and complete the required course and credits to graduate from an accredited Virginia educational program.
The Pre-K ESL program is available to 4 year old children and offered at all three of our early childhood centers (Denbigh, Marshall, Watkins) and General Stanford. English Learners (ELs) are pulled into small groups for instruction and are also provided language support in the classroom by collaborating with Pre-K teachers.
The ESL program is available at all of the division's elementary schools. Depending on the language needs of the student, ELs will either receive push-in (ESL teacher pushes into the general education classroom), pull-out (ELs are pulled out into small groups), or sheltered (ESL classroom with students of similar language needs) instruction. Students that have recently arrived in the U.S. and need intensive English instruction may take part in our sheltered Newcomer Program beginning in 2nd grade. All ELs receive language acquisition support based on their English language proficiency level. Program
placement and minutes/hours of service for ELs are determined through the screening process that is completed at the Welcome Center upon registration.
Though ESL is available at all of the middle schools, ELs will receive the most language support services at two of our designated sites, Ella Fitzgerald and Gildersleeve. Additionally, the Newcomer Program, for students that have recently arrived to the U.S. and require intensive language support, is located at Crittenden Middle School. Students at either EFMS or GMS will receive support through either daily or every other day Collab (core teacher and ESL teacher in one classroom), SOL Prep (additional language support), or Transitions (students coming from the Newcomer Program).
Though ESL is available at all NNPS high schools, ELs will receive the most language support services at two of our designated sites Denbigh and Menchville. Both schools offer Collab (core teacher and ESL teacher in one classroom) and sheltered (ESL classroom with students of similar language needs) courses. The Newcomer Program, for students that have recently arrived to the U.S. and require intensive language support, is also available at both sites.
Gifted Services (TAG) & Special Education
ELs receiving Gifted Services or Special Education services are also eligible to receive ESL program services based on their registration and assessment data.
English Proficiency Level
Students that qualify for ESL services will have a composite score between 1.0-4.3, students that reach a composite score between 4.4-6.0 are considered Former Limited English Proficient (FLEP) and will be on monitor status for 4 years after having scored 4.4 or higher on the WIDA-ACCESS for ELs 2.0 assessment.
Length of Time in the ESL Program
Our goal is for each student to improve on their language acquisition each year; however, students will grow at varying rates. Research shows that achieving academic proficiency in English takes 7–10 years for students who have not studied in their first language, and 4–7 years for students who have had education in their first language. It is critical that families and educators work together to support the student as they acquire a new language and fulfill all educational
requirements for program completion.
ESL Welcome Center
At the ESL Welcome Center, students are screened for possible placement in the ESL program. If the student qualifies for program services, the family will be notified of the student's language proficiency and which school their child will attend. If the student does not qualify for services, the family may proceed to their zoned school to complete the enrollment process.
The NNPS ESL Program abides by the laws, policies, procedures, and guidance of the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Virginia Department of Education. For more information you may call or visit the following sites:
- U.S. Department of Education, (800) 872-5327
- U.S. Department of Justice, (202) 514-2000
- DOJ Fact Sheet
- Virginia Department of Education, (800) 292-3820